Two years ago, after the Nets traded for Joe Johnson and re-signed Deron Williams, they went on a marketing binge, declaring "Brooklyn's Backcourt" the league's best. They even held a borough hall pep rally and trademarked the phrase.
For whatever reason, the D-Will - J.J. combination has never matched the hype and now with Jason Kidd re-jiggering the lineup the two aren't even a backourt per se. Johnson starts at small forward, Williams at off-guard and Shaun Livingston at the point. But if the Nets are going to succeed this year, they will need the two original members of Brooklyn' Backcourt to take over.
Johnson, particularly in the absence of Williams, has proven he can do that job, playing at an All-Star level recently. As Rod Boone writes...
Who knows where the Nets would be without Johnson? His scoring prowess and ability to create mismatches with his 6-7, 240-pound frame is uncanny, at times leaving his own teammates in awe. He's averaging 24.4 points and 4.4 assists in his last five games, hitting a blistering 46.4 percent of his three-point attempts.
With D-Will expected back soon,perhaps as early as Monday, the question is how everyone, including a resurgent Kevin Garnett, can be re-integrated ... and in a new system. Stefan Bondy writes the season could depend on it...
It raises the question: How hard will it be to integrate Williams, who has struggled this season, into a lineup that has thrived with Shaun Livingston as the point guard.
"We don’t need to integrate Deron. He’s a great player," Andrei Kirilenko said. "He’s a huge option for our team."
As Reed Wallach points out, the schedule does get easier. It gets more emotional as well, with games against the Knicks and Celtics this week. But the Nets have confidence going forward.
- Where would the Nets be without Joe Johnson? - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Take a Number: Just Give It to Joe Johnson - Michael Salfino - Wall Street Journal
- With Williams Dat-to-Day, Nets Chemistry Is on the Mend - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Is Joe Johnson an All-Star? - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Deron Williams could return to Nets by Monday against Knicks - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Kevin Garnett fine with Nets resting him - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Will Deron Williams' return cause Brooklyn Nets to regress? - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
New York Knicks must beat Brooklyn Nets on Monday - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Doc: Expect 'crazy' BOS return for PP, KG - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Nets start calendar year on a roll - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets rewind: Fitting Blatche into small-ball approach - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Legler: Garnett, Pierce weren’t invested in Nets early - Justin Terranova - New York Post
- With his Brooklyn Nets turning a corner, Mikhail Prokhorov reveals that he’d always had Jason Kidd’s back - Kelly Dwyer - Yahoo! Sports